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What is a mammogram?

A mammogram machine takes X-ray images of different angles of your breast to screen for breast cancer. These images help check for cancer in your breast before you or your doctor notice anything wrong (such as a lump).   

 

Woman looks at mammogram scan

What will happen?

The nurse or technician will ask you take off your shirt and bra. You will be given a robe to wear. Then the nurse or technician helps you position your breast to compress it between the two plates of the X-ray machine. The machine will take pictures of different your breast from different angles. A radiologist will look at these images and determine if you need follow up testing.

While a screening appointment may take up to an hour, the mammogram itself only takes 15-30 minutes, depending on the size of your breasts. Having your breasts pressed between the two plates can be uncomfortable or even painful, but this part of the process takes only a few minutes. 

If the doctor decides that follow up is needed, you will be sent to Val-D’Or Hospital for a few days for more testing. These tests may include another mammogram, an ultrasound, or an invasive biopsy (sample of tissue) to determine if cancer is really there.

 

Breast cancer screening (mammography) checks for cancer in your breast before you or your doctor notice anything wrong.

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